Should You Negotiate Or Litigate Your Personal Injury Case?
Answering these questions will help you determine whether it is best to negotiate with the insurance company or litigate your case.
How much is my case worth?
How much you receive from the insurance company depends on whether you decide to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company or take your case to trial or in front of a judge. The amount depends on things like:
- Time missing from work
- The type of treatments you received
- The length of time needed for treatment
- How often you needed treatments for the same injury
- Whether there was any gap in treatment
- The size of medical bills
- Whether you will incur further medical costs later on
- Whether your injury will leave you permanently disabled
- Whether you will be left with scars or other permanent problems
No two injury cases are alike, and there is no specific formula to calculate how much you will receive from the insurance company. Our goal is to make sure you are fairly compensated. We do this by examining the facts of your case and making sure the insurance company fully understands your needs before making an offer.
Should I trust the insurance adjuster?
Even though it might seem like the insurance company is on your side, an insurance adjuster's job is to look out for the company's profits and bottom line, not your best interests. In many cases, an insurance company will try to take advantage of the physical, emotional and financial turmoil you're going through to push for a settlement that is not in your best interests but instead will increase an insurance company's profits.
Do I have to sign a release that allows the insurance company access to my medical records?
In many cases, release forms are very broad, meaning they may allow the insurance company to see not only the parts of your medical record that are directly related to your accident injuries, but they may also be allowed to see other aspects of your medical history, such as the last time you saw an orthopedic specialist for a different injury, went to marriage counseling or saw a gynecologist or urologist.
It is in your best interests not to sign a release, especially one that would give the insurance company broad access to your medical records.
What happens if the other driver has no insurance or not enough insurance to cover the severity of my injuries and loss?
In the event that the other driver does not have any insurance or does not have enough insurance, you may still be covered through your own policy. We will examine your policy to see whether you have uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage. This is the type of coverage you paid for protecting you in exactly this situation.
The odd thing will be, however, that if you make a claim for uninsured or underinsured coverage against your own policy, your insurance company will treat you as any other claimant. Just because you have paid them premiums — perhaps over many years — does not mean you should expect to be treated any better than someone else who is making a claim.
Also, many people think that their insurance agent, who they have dealt with over the years and to whom they have delivered their premium payments, will look out for them. Unfortunately, your local insurance agent is merely a sales person. He or she has nothing to do with the adjustment of claims. They are part of a completely separate branch of your insurance company that has nothing to do with the other one.
Your local agent cannot make sure the adjuster is treating you fairly — only your attorney can.
Will I have to go to court?
If you and the insurance company are able to negotiate a fair level of compensation that will cover all of your losses, injuries and damages, then there is no need to take your case to court. However, negotiations may not go smoothly in every case, meaning litigation may be necessary in some instances.
Our goal is to get you justice and the best possible outcome for your case. Though we believe that taking an aggressive approach to negotiations can lead to quicker results, we always assume that litigation will occur and that we will wind up in court. As such, we prepare your case accordingly, always with the hope we will not have to take your case to court, if possible.
Contact Our Firm
To schedule your free initial consultation, call our law office in Hickory, North Carolina, at 828-848-8776 or toll free at 888-321-0494. You may also send us a confidential email.